Have you ever wondered at what age it’s okay for kids to take a sip of coffee? Or maybe try your holiday mocha drink? Drinking a few sips of coffee might not feel like anything much in your body, but the effects it has on children can be significantly different. Let’s take a look.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee that affects the central nervous system. It’s known for increasing alertness, but in children, the effects can be more pronounced. Younger bodies are more sensitive to caffeine. It can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and disrupted sleep. Children also metabolize caffeine slower than adults, meaning its effects can last longer.
Impact on Developing Bodies
Children are still growing, and their nutritional needs are different than adults’ needs. Caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, potentially even affecting bone development.
Most health experts agree that children should avoid coffee. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that teens aged 12 to 18 should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 100 mg per day (about the amount in one 8 oz cup of coffee) and recommends that children under 12 should not consume caffeine at all. So there you have it!